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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI chooses Robert Weygand as Vice President for Administration

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee, 874-2116

KINGSTON, R.I. -- January 9, 2004 -- Following a national search with more than 160 applicants, the University of Rhode Island has chosen Robert A. Weygand, president and CEO of the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE), as its new vice president for administration. Weygand, a 1971 URI alumnus, is a former Rhode Island congressman, lieutenant governor and state representative. The Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education will officially confirm the selection at its Jan. 26th meeting.

"I am pleased that the University has chosen Bob Weygand to lead such an important area of University operations," said Frank Caprio, chairman of the board. "I know Bob to be a person of high integrity and honesty who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in his distinguished career in public service and higher education."

As vice president, Weygand will function in a leadership role, serve as the University's senior operating officer, supporting the president and the provost on all matters related to the administration of the University and will represent the University regarding finance and administration to internal and external stakeholders.

"In Bob’s most recent leadership role, as president of NEBHE for the past two and one half years, he has worked with presidents, provosts, administrators and chancellors of higher education in the region and understands the complexities of the higher education environment," said URI President Robert L. Carothers. "I believe his wide-ranging experiences will strengthen the University’s ability to generate new resources and manage effectively its facilities and business affairs.

"Bob will be a persuasive advocate for URI, someone who can articulate effectively what this institution brings to Rhode Island and America and what it needs to serve its students and the economy of our state," added Carothers.

A seven-member search committee, comprised of representation from faculty, the administration, students, alumni and members of the business and finance division, brought four finalists to campus, following a five-month search process. Weygand is expected to assume the position on March 1.
Weygand earned a bachelor of science degree in civil and environmental engineering in 1976 and a bachelor of fine arts in theater in 1971, both from URI. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Second District, from 1997-2001, served as lieutenant governor from 1993-1997, and was a state representative, 84th District, from 1985 to 1993.

Prior to that, Weygand was a member of the Capital Center Commission, the R.I. Scenic Highway Board, chairman of the R.I. Land Use Commission, chairman and member of the East Providence Planning Board, and director of the East Providence Land Trust. He began his professional career as a landscape architect in 1973 for the R.I. Department of Natural Resources, and later founded his own landscape architectural firms in 1982 and again in 1987. He has been an adjunct assistant professor in the University’s Landscape Architecture program since 1991.

The position of vice president for administration oversees the University’s Controller’s Office, Human Resources, Business Services, Budget, Facilities and Operations, Capital Projects, Purchasing, Payroll, the W. Alton Jones Campus, the Ryan Center and the Boss Arena, and the Public Safety and Risk Management functions.

"I am honored to have been selected as the University’s vice president for administration. I recognize that it‘s an enormous challenge and responsibility, and one that I believe I can carry out with diligence and skill," said Weygand. "My recent experience at NEBHE has given me opportunities to work closely with governors, legislative and education leaders from across New England on educational issues. My experience in business and public service will serve me well in helping to manage and direct the University and to develop strategies to move the University forward.

"On a personal note, the University has always held a special place in my heart. My household is a family of URI graduates. It will be a great privilege to serve an institution that has given so much to my family and me," added Weygand.

Weygand has also given back to his alma mater, establishing in May 2002 with his wife, Fran, the Weygand Family Scholarship endowment for non-traditional, Rhode Island students attending URI. The seed money for the scholarship was made available through the remaining balance of a campaign fund, personal contributions, and a deferred gift of life insurance.

Weygand was also instrumental in securing $1 million in federal monies in January 2000 toward a new Center for Environmental Studies at URI. Along with U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, later that year, then Congressman Weygand provided support for a $10.3 million grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development to the URI Coastal Resources Center.